False: Elites are harvesting a powerful drug from the bodies of trafficked children.

By: Sam Doak
November 28 2022

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False: Elites are harvesting a powerful drug from the bodies of trafficked children.


The Verdict False

Adrenochrome does not have the properties ascribed to it by conspiracy theorists and there is no evidence it is being extracted from children.

Claim ID 1e1fb5fb


A video circulating on Facebook repeats a well-worn claim that alleges elites are harvesting adrenochrome from the bodies of trafficked children. The video was initially produced by Infowars in 2021 and includes footage of Jim Caviezel addressing the COVID-19 conspiracist conference, Health and Freedom. 

Outlining how he believes adrenochrome is produced, Caviezel says, "Essentially, you have adrenaline in your body, I'll just simplify it. When you are scared, you produce adrenaline. If you're an athlete, you get in the fourth quarter, you have adrenaline that comes out of you. If a child knows he's going to die, his body will secrete this adrenaline."

The video's narrator, David Reese, affirms the theory put forward by Caviezel and describes what he characterizes as a coordinated response to his allegations, stating, "The mockingbird media responded by firing a chorus of headlines into the brainwashed minds of the public, all to the tune of 'Adrenochrome, and the consumption of children is a dangerous right-wing lie,' but it isn't." 

While the properties of adrenochrome vary across versions of this conspiracy theory, it is most commonly framed as a powerful psychoactive drug with potential anti-aging effects. 

In Fact

While adrenochrome is a substance that exists, it does not have the powerful and often mystical properties assigned to it by conspiracy theorists. Adrenochrome is produced through the oxidation of adrenaline. It is produced synthetically and can be purchased relatively easily online. The Spinoff notes that, outside of research settings, the compound has no common practical uses and is not approved for human consumption by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

According to McGill Office for Science and Society, adrenochrome's route to notoriety began in the 1950s, when researchers Abram Hoffer and Humphry Osmond forwarded a theory that the substance could play a key role in the onset of schizophrenia. This theory has never been proven, and Hoffer and Osmond's work on this topic was later heavily refuted by the American Psychiatric Association. Despite this, adrenochrome subsequently featured in the work of a series of writers, including Aldous Huxley, Anthony Burgess, and Hunter S. Thompson. 

According to the Daily Beast, it was in Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that adrenochrome was first framed as a drug violently extracted from human beings. While this work was inspired by autobiographical events, it is heavily fictionalized, including its inclusion of adrenochrome. The outlet notes that Terry Gilliam, the director of the book's adaptation, has stated that Thompson confirmed the drug does not exist in the form described in his work. 

While adrenochrome is a relatively recent cultural artifact, the conspiracy theories connecting to it is rooted in much older antisemitic narratives. According to the Holocaust Encyclopedia, a project managed by the American Holocaust Memorial Museum, from the middle ages onwards, Jewish communities across Europe were repeatedly targeted with false allegations concerning the kidnap of children and ritual cannibalism. These narratives persisted through to the twentieth century and played a key role in the formation of antisemitism in the modern era. 

The Verdict

No evidence has ever surfaced to support claims that Adrenochrome is harvested from trafficked children. This compound does not have the properties ascribed to it by conspiracy theorists and can be created synthetically. While the origins of this claim lie in discredited research and works of fiction, its deeper roots can be found in longstanding antisemitic libels. This claim has therefore been marked as false.

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